Common Threads

An exhibition of fabric craft made by eight women of different nationalities now living in Mayo

Background to the Exhibition


The project was prompted by a desire to continue and deepen museum engagement with new communities living in Ireland, and to explore the relevance of the museum and its collections to these communities. After an initial familiarisation visit and guided tour of the exhibitions, participants undertook weekly visits to the Museum in October and November 2008. Each week, the women worked with their own individual techniques using tools and materials specific to their craft.

Each participant has brought a flavour of her own culture to fruition through her individual work.

The sharing of craft skills and ideas amongst the group and with museum staff was - an important element of the project. The sharing of personal stories that emerged through the medium of craft was also important and an interview with each participant was recorded during the project.

The Exhibition


The quality of the craft skills and the resonances with the museum exhibitions led to a proposal to exhibit the finished work. The finished work is displayed alongside the permanent exhibits of the Museum.

The participants in this project were

  • Faoziya Yussuf from Nigeria
  • Olanike Ogundare from Nigeria
  • Favour Ezenna from Nigeria
  • Joanna Kuruc from Poland
  • Natalia Pestova from Russia
  • Phaw Shee Hta from Burma
  • Hsar Bway Say from Burma
  • Mi Nyel Win from Burma

See work from all participants in the Exhibition Catalogue:

Common Threads Exhibition Catalogue (0.42 MB, Adobe PDF)

This exhibition was the result of a joint project undertaken by the Museum and Mayo Inter-cultural Action group (MIA), and facilitated by community artist Carmel Balfe. MIA is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) dedicated to issues of immigration and integration in county Mayo.

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